One of my own images from Tosca, Act 1, performed by Minnesota Opera, March 10, 2016 using a Sony alpha 7S, 200mm, ISO 3200, 1/200 @ f/4.0. DxO Optics Pro 10 to recover detail in the background shadows and in the highlights in Tosca's blouse. Tosca: "Who is that blonde woman?" "It's Mary Magdalene!" answered Cavaradossi, attempting to deflect Tosca's jealousy. 

Kelly Kaduce as Floria Tosca; Leonardo Capalbo as Mario Cavaradossi; Lighting Design by Fiammetta Baldiserri; Set and Costume Design by Lorenzo Cutùli.

One of my favorite Italian painters from the Baroque era is Caravaggio. His figures were unidealized; he showed their individualism and their humanity (an innovation at the time that would later on lead to  Naturalism). Dramatic use of chiaroscuro (strong bold contrasts of light and dark) and tenebrism (dark, shadowy settings that seem to envelop the subjects) were also characteristic of his work.


Extremes in dynamic range are used constantly in theater, ballet, opera, and other stage performances. They present a serious challenge to today's cameras and our softwares!

If you know the limits of your equipment and will experiment with your software, you can sometimes get images you didn't think possible.


Returning to the 'Caravaggio,' it is still being authenticated. 


When the artist is alive, it's easier. You can ask! For example, the $6 million lithograph forgeries of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings in the 1980s - not sure why the art dealer didn't contact O'Keeffe and ask, but finally someone did, and O'Keeffe replied she had absolutely not authorized printing nor did she sign any of the 6,000 prints. 


In our case, some methods used to authenticate would be: Infrared reflectography, x-rays (an authentic would have changes or mistakes that were painted over, a copy probably would not), examination of brush strokes, identifying the materials used (they must not be anachronistic), and finally the work needs to be examined by many independent evaluators.


If authentic, the Caravaggio will worth an estimated $135 million.


This will be interesting to follow, because, honestly, I don't see Caravaggio's distinctive style here. Unless it's been over-cleaned or this is a bad photograph, the highlights look flat. Too bright, too big, too stark. Just my impression. 

Cut flower still life  by one of my 2015 summer campers using an Olympus E-610, ISO 800, kit lens, 40 mm, f/5.6. Nice tenebrism!

Possible Lost Caravaggio Painting Found in Attic in South France 

Reported in today's StarTribune: StarTribune Judith Beheading Holofernes, the biblical heroine Judith beheading an Assyrian general. Thought to be painted in Rome ca. 1604-05.

Extreme dynamic range, shot by me using Nikon D810, 122 mm, ISO 1600, 1/250 @ f/2.8


Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss performed by Minnesota Opera, September 23, 2015. Zerbinetta by Erin Morley; companions Brad Benoit; Benjamin Sieverding; David Walton